Augusta National announces NCAA winner will get in Masters
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Written by Staff @PGATOUR
Winning the NCAA Championship will carry even more weight after the Masters announced Wednesday that the winner of college golf’s biggest title will earn an invitation to the Masters Tournament.
The invitation will first be offered at this year’s NCAA Championship, which is scheduled for May 26-31 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“It really goes back to our roots, and that is that Bobby Jones was the greatest amateur of all time,” Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley said. “He believed in the importance of amateurs in the Masters. … And as it relates to the NCAA Champion, as I stated, that is a major amateur championship, and I thought it was time that we acknowledged it.”
The reigning NCAA champion, Vanderbilt sophomore Gordon Sargent, is competing in this week’s Masters on a special invitation. He is the first amateur in more than two decades to receive a special invitation into the Masters.
Winning the NCAA Championship will now come with exemptions into two major championships. The U.S. Golf Association announced earlier this year that the NCAA winner would receive an exemption into the U.S. Open, effective this year.
Augusta National also made two slight changes to its criteria for 2024, announcing that “winners of PGA TOUR events that award a full-point allocation” will earn Masters invitations. This ensures that when the TOUR returns to a single-year schedule in 2024 that the fall winners will get into the Masters. Also, players “qualifying and eligible” for the TOUR Championship will earn Masters invitations.